The major mediums for information dissemination utilized included posters, local newspapers, local radio and the before mentioned public meetings. The purpose of these activities was to inform the general public of the project and that meetings would be happening. It involved one time publication in newspapers and was broadcast on local radio stations over a few days.
Information dissemination is a very low level of participation with only one-way communication however it has a role in awareness raising and can support other participatory tools as it does in the case study. The main advantages are that is has the potential to reach the non-attendees of public meetings including the carers and HIV/AIDS sufferers. It is unlikely however to reach the most disadvantaged groups including the women and poor due to their workload, accessibility to newspapers and radio, and much lower literacy rates. In many project areas there are also language barriers with disadvantaged groups having different dialects. Literacy, languages and education affect the level of awareness and understanding of the project with impacts on project efficiency and participation in other participatory events. In developed countries literacy and education rates are much higher however there is also the role of information overload and its impact on project awareness.
The information dissemination methods used in the case study resulted in little opportunity for social capital benefits to be realized. Alternative methods could mobilize and strengthen existing social capital and provide opportunities for new social capital building. The local extension people could be utilized to pass information on through their daily business within the village. Traditional leaders could also contribute to this word of mouth spread of information while strengthening existing traditional networks. Another possible avenue is the use of culturally appropriate extension methodologies such as song, role play, puppetry or dance. These opportunities would be limited in developed countries however there may be context specific circumstances where existing networks could be mobilized for information dissemination.
Citing this article
This report was prepared for Social Capital Research. You should reference this work as:
Claridge, T., 2004. Designing social capital sensitive participation methodologies. Report, Social Capital Research, Brisbane, Australia.